Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A spouse's legal entitlement, during his or her lifetime, to a share of a deceased spouse's real estate or other property.
  • noun The part or interest of a deceased man's real estate allotted by law to his widow for her lifetime.
  • noun A natural endowment or gift; a dowry.
  • transitive verb To give a dower to; endow.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun See dougher.
  • To furnish with dower; portion; endow.
  • noun The property which a woman brings to her husband at marriage; dowry.
  • noun In law, the portion which the law allows to a widow for her life out of the real property in which her deceased husband held an estate of inheritance.
  • noun One's portion of natural gifts; personal endowment.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun That with which one is gifted or endowed; endowment; gift.
  • noun obsolete, obsolete The property with which a woman is endowed.
  • noun obsolete That which a woman brings to a husband in marriage; dowry.
  • noun (Law) That portion of the real estate of a man which his widow enjoys during her life, or to which a woman is entitled after the death of her husband.
  • noun See under Assignment.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun law that part of a deceased's property provided to his widow
  • noun law property given by a man to his wife at marriage.
  • noun dowry
  • verb to give a dower or dowry
  • verb to endow

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • verb furnish with an endowment
  • noun money or property brought by a woman to her husband at marriage
  • noun a life estate to which a wife is entitled on the death of her husband

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English douere, from Old French douaire, from Medieval Latin dōtārium, dōārium, from Latin dōs, dōt-, dowry; see dō- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology.

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